The present volume of Atlas Florae Europaeae (AFE) is the last of the five devoted to the Rosaceae, which in terms of the number of species, is among the three largest plant families of Europe. It has taken well over a decade to map the family, which is well known for its taxonomic complexity, largely on account of the high frequency of apomixis.
The European botanical community have devoted considerable effort and time in mapping the Rosaceae , and have already published the first ever complete sets of maps of the genera Alchemilla and Rubus in Europe and sparked a renaissance of interest in the taxonomy of these and other rosaceous genera. Sorbus s. lato has now been treated to the same in-depth attention and revision in terms of distribution. Because of the uncommon complexity of Sorbus s. lato and the evident need to treat this group as several genera, particular consideration has been given to reviewing its nomenclature and taxonomy.
The maps of 189 species of Sorbus s. lato and three sub-species od S. aucuparia are based on 11,374 distribution records.